Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

It's a bright, sunny day here in Chicago, with super nice temps, the start to a perfect day :)

Last night, my husband, my dog Gracie,and I walked over to the library to pick up a book I had ordered for my husband. Wow, that just reminded me of a funny story...

During my husband's career, he had a secretary that took care of, as it turns out, a lot. On his very first Monday of retirement, he told me that he would like to schedule an appointment to see his doctor. I quickly realized that he didn't intend to make the appointment, but wanted me to. So, I made the call and then wrote down the appointment time on a piece of paper, at the top of the page. I wish I could act what he then did. I actually sat there in amazement. He put his hands up, palms facing me as though he he was going to stop me, and then said, "Okay, as you go about scheduling my day, I would like for you to put my first appointment at the bottom of the page and then work up from there. Then, as I go about my day, I can just tear off each task as I accomplish it." 

As I was sitting there listening to him, my first thought was, "as I schedule your day???" But, I listened, and when he finished, I took a deep breath and said,"Oookay," lips somewhat pursed ;) That was the last appointment I made for him. He has learned to take care of himself, with 1 exception, I find books for him to read.

I was actually going to tell you last night's skunk story, another day :) Gracie did not get sprayed...Thank God!!!

Last week I did a rather unconventional Wednesday Showcase post, sharing a bit of my closet, and introducing you to Jennifer Scott of the Daily Connoisseur. This week, I thought I would share 2 blogs that I think you might enjoy, not traditional, but interesting nonetheless.

First up...
I'm sure most of you know about Canada College in Redwood City, California, near San Francisco. They have a fabulous fashion design and merchandising department and offer class times that will fit into most schedules. Each year, the school sponsors a wonderful event, Artistry in Fashion. You can read more about it HERE. If you follow Communing With Fabric, then you know about the event as I think she tries to never miss it!

The fashion department also hosts a wonderful blog which you can find HERE. There you can read about fashion trends, spotting new trends, and designer showcases like this article on Michelle Paganini. There's even an article on how to overcome a creative block. Truly, something for everyone who loves fashion and design!

Next up is a brand new blog from Couture Fabrics. They just began blogging in April of this year. The articles are short, but offer information on fitting, working with menswear fabrics, and working with fine fabrics. And of course, they even showcase some of their exquisite fabrics.

Who doesn't like to look at pretty fabric?!! If only we could just look ;) 

Have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Construction Tips and Creative Ideas

Something rather fun happened :)
I popped over to my YouTube channel to see if any messages had been left, and low and behold!!!, there was a message from Jennifer Scott, the author of the Madame Chic series of books, and the Daily Connoisseur blog. I could not believe my eyes! Someone had left her a message about the video I did last week, so she decided to check it out. She left the most gracious message. What a lovely treat for me :) If by chance you missed the video I did, you can find it HERE.  

It's no secret that I LOVE to shop at resale shops and antique stores. I guess it's the thrill of the hunt :)  

I recently visited a resale shop and found 2 wonderful pieces. Each had something rather interesting about them that I thought you too might enjoy seeing.

This skirt is a 16 gore skirt. The principles of making this skirt are exactly the same as the basic 8-gore skirt, just divide by 16 rather than 8. 
The gores are not what caught my attention...

Rather, the construction of the waistband, or at least what works as a waistband.

The gores of the skirt were sewn together, in this case, serged together. Rather than adding a typical waistband, a 1" strip of fabric that was cut on the straight of grain was serged to the top of the skirt and stitched down.

On the outside, a strip of grosgrain ribbon (typical grosgrain ribbon, not petersham ribbon) was stitched over the stitching line of the strip that had been sewn to the inside of the skirt. It's such a simple application, but I think it makes for an interesting way to finish a waistline and add a little interest.

I paid a whopping $3.00 for the skirt.

The second piece I purchased is just so much fun. This skirt is more of a design inspiration piece. Velvet and taffeta were used to make the skirt, but wonderful hand painted touches were added. 

The 2 strips of velvet ribbon were both painted and then stitched to the front of the skirt.

On the right side of the skirt, a painted panel was done on the velvet. 

The waistband was made from a piece of plaid taffeta and accented with the panel on the side. The added panel is just an accent piece as there were no pockets added.

The back has a velvet yoke sewn to the taffeta that has also been painted. Love the addition of the ring that hangs from the yoke seam.

A second piece of taffeta was used to face the hem and the center front zipper opening.

I got such a kick out of the tag. Yes, it really is quite cute :)
I cannot wait for the temps to fall a bit so I can wear this skirt. For those of you who love the warm summer weather, please forgive me ;)

This past Sunday, my husband took me to the teeny tiny town of Creston, IL to do a little antique shopping. I only found 2 items, but I thought they were both quite special.

Both pieces were painted and embroidered on silk with the original protective paper still in tact.

I initially thought of the painted skirt above and thought that it might be fun to do something similar with 1 of the pieces, but I'm vacillating. They are so very beautiful, so I may just have them framed and enjoy the art aspect of each piece. 

If you do enjoy antique shopping, or going to resale shops, keep your eyes open for pieces that might translate into a wonderful piece of art that could be worked into a garment, like the embroidered and painted pieces above. It's unique things like this that can really make our garments extra special :)  

Hope my resale shop pieces gave you a little inspiration!

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Timeless Fashion and Resources

Two weeks ago, I found out that the yoga studio in my neighborhood offers a weekly restorative yoga class. The first week, I had an excruciating headache. I hate when I get these headaches. They last for 48 hours, regardless of what I do, or what I take to relieve the pain. I went anyway, and I was so glad that I did. The headache did not go away, but an hour and 15 minutes of relaxation poses was just what I needed. I'm now hooked. Tonight will be my third class, and I cannot wait! 

I absolutely love it when I have the opportunity to bring you resources that you might not know are available :) 

My husband belongs to the Model A Ford Club of America. The club is composed of men and women who love Model A Fords, and enjoy the era in which the cars were produced, whether they own one or not. They even produce a magazine that comes out every other month.  

There's always a fashion related article in every magazine. 

The articles encompass everything from accessories, to tips on how to select the best dress suited to your body type. And even better, access to the articles is FREE!!! You can see an entire list of the articles HERE. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll find a link to access archived articles. 

The organization has worked hard to bring their members resources for authentic clothing. HERE you will find their Pattern Project page. 

There you will find patterns for; 

Daytime Dresses,

 Cocktail Gowns, 

Evening Gowns,




 And even a pattern for a traditional kimono.

Info on other patterns and how to order can be found HERE.

I think this is a wonderful resource for anyone who enjoys vintage fashion. So many of the fashions are really quite timeless.

Most of you know about the wonderful Decades of Style pattern company. There you can find lots of wonderful vintage patterns that can easily be translated into pieces that work for today. You can find their 1920's patterns HERE

Have a wonderful week! I hope that you too can find a little something that can restore your soul :)

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

It's All About Sewing In Schaumburg, IL and Fredericksburg, VA

I am SEW excited!!! :)
The Original Sewing And Quilt Expo is coming to Schaumburg, IL, a suburb just on the outskirts of Chicago, September 28, 29, 30, 2017. 

And guess what?!!! I'll be teaching :) 

I will also be teaching at the expo in Fredericksburg, VA October 5,6, and 7th, 2017. So if you are anywhere near either event, I would LOVE to meet you.   

So...I thought I would give you a quick list of the classes that I will be teaching.

Not Your Grandmother's Fur Anymore

Great Garments From Simple Shapes

Click on the titles for descriptions. Both of the above classes will be taught on Thursday, September 28, 2017.

My Friday September 29, 2017 classes will be;

Spectacular Sleeves By Design

Not Your Grandmother's Fur Anymore

From Classic Shirt To Gorgeous Gown: 
One Pattern's Journey 

And on Saturday September 30, 2017 I will be teaching;

From Classic Shirt to Gorgeous Gown:
One Pattern's Journey

Great Garments From Simple Shapes

You can find all the info on registration HERE.

In an upcoming post, I will give you links to the classes in Fredericksburg, VA. 

Something a little fun and different...
Sew News will be hosting a Project Swap Event. Make a small item and bring it to the expo to swap with another sewist. Who knows, you just might make a new best friend! You can find all the info and links to some fun free patterns HERE.

I hope you will be able to make one of the events!

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sewbussted's Closet

A surprise came to my inbox just recently... 
The message read;

I hope you don't mind but I named my puppy Little Bit. She is a 6 week old German Shepherd wolf dog and only weighs 4 pounds. The rest of the litter is twice to three times her size. Being tiny does not slow her down at all. When I first saw her, the name just slipped out...and stuck.

My message in return was that I and my Little Bit are both honored :)
My Little Bit  was not named by me. My friend who found her in the middle of the night, frightened and curled up against her garage door, gave her the name. When she first saw her she said, "Oh, she's just a little bit." And so the name came to be. My friend had told me to name her whatever I wanted, but it was so perfect, a little bit of a dog with a huge heart, and the mind of a giant. I'm so happy that another pup has been given the name.

I have a new video up today. I thought I would talk a bit about my closet and my wardrobe. A few month's back, I came across a TedTalk video that I found especially interesting. I talk about it in the video and I have also embedded it below. Not only was it interesting, I found it to be quite inspiring. As you see, the talk is entitled The Ten Item Wardrobe. I'm not advocating a ten item wardrobe, but sharing how it has inspired me, and I've also shared a couple of my garments that I love to wear, vintage and handmade.

You can find Jennifer's blog, The Daily Connoisseur, HERE. I think you will find her to be as inspiring as I have.

As I said in my video, I've read all 3 of her books. Of course all authors like to sell their books, but I think that checking books out from the library is a wonderful way to help keep our lives a little less cluttered, and less stressful. You can find descriptions about all 3 books on Jennifer's blog. Just check out the right sidebar.   

If you would like to see more of my closet, just let me know. I always enjoy sharing :) 
And something fun...
The airplane is back up, WOOHOO!!! Next week I will be flying to northern Michigan to do a brand new Sewbussted Material Witness interview. I can't wait. I'll be flying into an airport near the shore of Lake Huron. I'll take as many pictures as I can as I know it's going to be beautiful!

Have a wonderful day and I hope you too will be inspired to do a little cleaning ;)  

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Learning What I Do and Don't Like

Since I learned to knit, knitting has been a way of keeping my hands busy, and making me feel productive even when I'm in a situation where all I can do is sit. As a teenager, it was also a means of making a little extra money. I would knit bags, and scarf sets to sell at Christmas time. Now mind you, I was by no means compensated for my time, but extra money was extra money. I did a lot of babysitting, so once the children had gone to bed, I would make the most of my time, knitting until I could no longer stay awake. 

Just recently, I was sharing some of my "adventures in babysitting" stories. It's amazing what a kid can do to you!!! If I had known then what I know now, I don't think that dollar an hour would have looked quite so good ;) 

Back in April, I shared THIS post where I talked about my knitting goals for this year. My goal is to finish 12 projects. At this point...I have finished a whopping 3 :/  

In that post, I told you about the Lorna's Laces factory that is very close to where I live. From time to time, the owner hosts an open house. Along with the open house, she includes a tour and demonstration. I found it to be especially interesting. She even did a little dying for us. Well, going to a yarn factory for me, is a little like going to an animal shelter to "just look" at the animals. Talk about playing with fire!!! Although, I only purchased yarn for 2 projects, and until I get a few more projects finished, I know better than to go back!

The third project that I just recently finished is a shawl using the Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace yarn. OMG!!!, this yarn is like knitting with thread. Not quite that bad, but the project taught me one thing, I don't especially like knitted lace projects.

The shawl has a pretty little picot edging.

To create the rounded shape, the shawl is knitted with short rows which forms wedges. When I purchased the yarn, the woman at Lorna's Laces had said that it was a 1 skein project. I remember looking at the skein and thinking that there was no way it would be enough. As I worked, it seemed that the yarn was somehow multiplying as there always seemed to be more. The instructions said to create 6 wedges, I had enough for 8.

My finished shawl. Please forgive my clothing and my lack of makeup. I thought I would quickly do the post before I head out for my walk. 

In the end, I was happy that I had enough to create 8 wedges as the shawl now has a lovely drape.

I really love how it drapes over the shoulders.

Crazy me, always looking for other possibilities! I think it will be fun to clip it at the waist and wear it over a pair of leggings.

This is one project that I am VERY HAPPY to have finished. Now that it's completed, I love it, but there won't be another!

There are lots of projects on Ravelry using the Helen's Lace yarn. So check them out if you are on Ravelry.

If by chance you think that you might like to make a shawl for yourself, you can find the free pattern HERE at Love Knitting.

Now back to my sweater

Nice bulky yarn, now that I like :)     

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